Skills for the Hills 2020: Group Dynamics and Trip Planning

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Alpine Rescue Team

28802 Rainbow Hill Rd.

Evergreen, CO 80349

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Group Dynamics and Trip Planning

The group dynamics that played out in a disaster in the Alps are fully transferable to Colorado

This special session will briefly discuss six social-psychological phenomenon (traits). These traits affect both individual and group thought processes, and heuristic learning, for group decision-making before and during an organized trip. Understanding these traits, the potential pitfalls and managing them can make the difference between a successful trip or a disaster.

We will analyze an actual hut trip in the Alps that turned disastrous, killing 7 of 10 experienced members over the course of 24 hours of backcountry skiing – no not avalanche related.

  • We will delve into the social-psychological traps involved and how the failure to recognize and manage them resulted in tragedy for the group.

  • We will reveal other faults in planning and preparation by the group that further contributed to their demise.

The analysis and the group dynamics that played out in the Alps are fully transferable to Colorado and our backcountry experiences – either in winter or the summer.

In wrapping up will talk at length about trip planning: pre-event and trailhead actions, as well as what to consider during the trip. We will have ample time to interact and share experiences- good and bad- and help each other through our combined knowledge.

This session will open your eyes to the many pit falls that exist, and how easy it is to not recognize them. Come join and participate.

Skills for the Hills is Alpine Rescue Team's public wilderness and backcountry education program. Our classes are free however, we appreciate donations at the door. We never charge you, your family or the local authorities for search and rescue.

Support Alpine Rescue Team and all Colorado SAR teams by purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card. Buy a five-year ($12) or one-year ($3) card online.

"Skills for the Hills" is used with the permission of Mountain Aid, Scotland.


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Parking is available in the RTD Parkn'Ride lot across the street and in the dirt lot below our building. Do not park on the apron in front of Alpine Rescue Team HQ or on the fire department apron to the north.

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Alpine Rescue Team

28802 Rainbow Hill Rd.

Evergreen, CO 80349

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